Frequently Asked Questions about Epic® by Nextec


What makes EPIC by Nextec® fabrics different from all other performance fabrics?
Other performance fabrics rely on laminates, coatings or Durable Water Repellent (DWR) treatments to provide protection. The Nextec® encapsulation process places the protection inside the fabric.

How is fabric encapsulated?
Our patented Nextec® encapsulation process places an ultra thin polymer around the individual woven fabric fibers.

Why is encapsulation the best fabric protection for most outdoor activities?
Encapsulation provides the all-weather protection you need, without sacrificing breathability, comfort or packability. Tiny "micro holes" between the encapsulated fibers allow water vapor to escape, without allowing outside water and wind to penetrate.

Why are laminates inferior to encapsulation?
Laminating a waterproof membrane to fabric provides impervious resistance to water, but sacrifices breathability, comfort and hand.

Why is a DWR treatment inferior to encapsulation?
DWR treatments are applied to fabric either through spraying or by immersing in a chemical bath. The DWR treatment provides a moderate degree of water repellency, but isn’t windproof. It can easily be overwhelmed by heavy rain and can wear off or wash out of a fabric over time.

Are EPIC by Nextec® fabrics waterproof?
EPIC by Nextec® fabrics are highly water resistant. This means they resist penetration by water under all but the most extreme conditions.

Are encapsulated fabrics durable?
The encapsulation process can actually add strength to base fabrics, improving test results for abrasion resistance and tear strength.


Is the encapsulation process permanent?
With proper care and regular washing EPIC by Nextec® fabrics will perform for the life of the product.

What types of fabric can the Nextec® process encapsulate?
Polyester, nylon, cotton and stretch woven fabrics. Our encapsulation process can be used to produce more types of performance fabric than any other treatment.

Who else produces encapsulated fabrics?
No one. Our encapsulation process is patented worldwide from start to finish.

What is a soft shell?
A soft shell is a garment made with highly water-resistant, breathable, lightweight fabric. With our encapsulation process, we offer the ultimate all-weather soft shell performance.

When should I wear a soft shell garment?
Golfing, hiking, climbing, cross-country skiing, anytime you need comfortable, lightweight and breathable protection that can take you from sunshine to showers to snow flurries and back.

What is a hard shell?
A hard shell is a garment made with fabrics and features that offer impervious protection from sustained downpours. The fabric is laminated or coated and often features taped seams.

When should I wear a hard shell garment?
When you’re in a hurricane, monsoon or other sustained deluge.

Why should I buy a water resistant jacket made with EPIC by Nextec® fabric for nearly the same price as a waterproof, seam-sealed jacket?
While a hard shell, waterproof, seam-sealed jacket is designed to perform during an extreme downpour, it's compromised breathability makes it a less than ideal choice under more typical conditions. A jacket made with EPIC by Nextec® fabric provides versatile comfort and protection in all but the most severe conditions, making it a more useful, functional garment.